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So our top story tonight.
I want a President Obama is boldest calls and last night's state of the union speech.
Was to raise the national minimum wage from seven dollars and 25 cents to nine bucks an hour.
That's 24% increase and it brings us back to the conversation we've been having here on money.
And whether or not this will lift the economy or just lift the unemployment rate.
Today on Capitol Hill business owners in the trenches testified in front of the house committee on small business and joining us and -- -- from testifying.
Is -- of auction on a multi unit franchise owner.
He owns and operates businesses across four states thanks much for coming on in and tell us a little bit about what you went what message -- went to carry today.
Well thanks for having me I'm Melissa -- came to the Capitol Hill today.
To talk to them about small business and and basically how government is giving and our way of growth.
Do you think they -- -- mean how did you make your case where and what are they specifically during that slowing you down.
But the big thing is access to capital and the regulations.
And the the policies that they're putting in place.
But more importantly it's more about the indecisiveness.
Of what the policies will be they continue to kick the can down the road for six months to a year.
And I have no idea.
What might taxation rate will be next year and I just found out about what it'll be this year.
And when you talk about the Affordable Care Act.
There continues to be waivers.
Changes and differences in the policies that were originally very difficult thing cumbersome to understand.
And now it just continues to get more difficult.
What what I think that it sounds like it's -- be certain is that you're gonna have to pay your workers more and you own and operate twelve franchise units you have 43 full time employees.
I mean you have that is Wall Street is fresh canteen -- great American cookies Mrs.
Fields Famous Brands pretzel maker franchises.
All kinds of things that Americans are very familiar with across the country but these are places where you employ people.
-- a minimum wage how is gonna impact your business if you are forced to pay people nine dollars an hour.
Well as you mentioned in the beginning bits of 24% increase -- at a minimum.
Because those people that I currently pay maybe nine dollars an hour when the minimum wage goes up they're gonna want -- because they've been there longer of their full time employee.
But we have to remember really is in my business I employ a lot of high schoolers.
Or people who are just getting their first job and they are not full time employees.
That President Obama last night was very specific when he talked about the minimum wage and the federal poverty level and someone who works full time at minimum wage.
None of my full time employees make the minimum wage.
Now I have that's a great point and that is how so many people get started -- -- -- there wasn't a minimum wage that was low they would never get a job.
Because you know -- other people will be taken out opportunity -- a higher -- sort of the only way to get started but in your case how would you respond so if you have to pay.
-- like you said you make a great point you have to lift the wages of everyone else -- ordered it to stay in line.
That money's not gonna grow on trees where it what are you gonna do are you gonna cut back on on their hours are you gonna cut back and other workers are you to raise the price your products what what would you do.
You know that same question was asked in the small business committee today.
I can't lay off anybody -- -- can't reduce their hours.
We're at minimum staffing levels already it's been part of what we've done over the downturn of the last several years we watch our labor costs very closely.
So what it means though is that I won't continue to grow I won't open any more locations because when I look at the ability for a return on investment.
If I have 44% more or 30% more in payroll costs.
That's gonna go right to my bottom line and take away any profit that I might -- to expect to realize.
And so I'm gonna make -- decision -- not open more locations in every location and I opened.
Employees anywhere between eight and fifteen people.
-- so it's those that 23 million people who are unemployed or -- working enough in order to pay their bills.
Those -- the people that would suffer as a result of this because there wouldn't be a new job that you would create.
Because you be paying your current employees even more why wouldn't you pass along in the form of higher prices because that is the argument.
But I always get from people who are in favor raising the minimum wage they say -- prices will go up.
You know but wages will go up so it all evens out people pay more but they make more so really it's this virtuous cycle and it all works out.
You wouldn't raise your prices.
No I think you're exactly right but you have to remember I -- great American cookies and pretzel maker there's not going to be an opportunity for -- to charge four dollars for a cookie.
So I have a lot of problems increasing my prices because eventually gets out of range for someone to purchase an impulse buy like that.
And so what we have to do is find ways to.
And mitigate any expenses that go to our bottom line with other methods and and ultimately like I said not only one not open new locations.
But some of my locations that are very -- and profitability right now.
I'll decide to close those yes I'm not gonna make any money whatsoever so not only -- not employing new people but there's some current employees and album no longer have a mice in my system in.
More shot about you -- in the trenches you are so practical you were out there fighting the -- I really hope that they listened to you today because a lot of politicians just are practical on there.
Not looking at the -- thanks for coming on today we appreciate your time.
Sure -- certainly.
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